Saturday, February 10, 2007

MBT Shoes

In the early 1990s, Swiss engineer Karl Müller realized that both shoes and backache are unknown to the Masai tribesmen - and that there is a causal connection between these two facts. By walking barefoot on the natural, soft, uneven ground of their East African homeland, the Masai activate also those muscles that atrophy when on walks on hard, even surfaces wearing conventional shoes. MBT, Masai Barefoot Technology, was invented by Swiss engineer Karl Müller. During a visit to Korea he made the startling discovery that walking barefoot over paddy fields alleviated his back pain. Back in Switzerland, Müller began to develop a footwear technology that would make the natural instability of soft ground such as Korean paddy fields or the East African savannah accessible also to those, who have to walk on hard surfaces.
Has anyone tried these MBT shoes? I hear they are the anti cellulite shoes. I wish I knew of someone who actually had a pair. I might be interested in buying a pair for myself. They even have them in sandals.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith Dead at 39

Reality star Anna Nicole Smith died Thursday after collapsing at a South Florida hotel, one of her lawyers said.

Smith, 39, did not respond to CPR, and her boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, 38, was with her when she passed, her attorney, Ron Rale, told FOX News.

The former Playboy Playmate was found unresponsive Thursday in her Seminole Hard Rock Cafe Hotel and Casino room in Hollywood, Fla.

Emergency responders performed CPR at the scene and a breathing apparatus was inserted in her throat, hotel officials told Smith was immediately transported to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood just after 2 p.m. EST.

Local streets were closed off to rush Smith to the hospital, three miles away. Paramedics were seen pumping her chest as she was taken from the hotel.

Stern told "Entertainment Tonight" that her temperature was running high Wednesday night and that the couple had been in Florida shopping for a new boat.

"She checked in Monday at 8 p.m. as a guest. She was due to check out tomorrow," said Danielle Giordaano, a spokeswoman for the Hard Rock Hotel.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Look to the Future!

Maybe you're not overjoyed about how things worked out. There's nothing you can do about it now. If the past continues to haunt you, the only ways to change it are through rewriting your memories or blocking them out altogether. Shifting your focus would help a lot, too. Stop looking backward all the time. Turn your gaze to the future. Starting now, this is where you can make a difference. Let your previously learned lessons guide you without forcing your hand. Circumstances will be different every time. Respond to the current conditions and make something completely new.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bridge Run Poster

Well, I too am special.  My co-worker who is already training for the run offered to get me one of the posters for this year.  She did and it is lovely.  It is even signed.  I feel special.  I will have it framed.  I cannot wait.  I went to target last night looking for frames just to get a price.  I did not have the size with me so I will have to measure and go back to get one.

It is a lovely poster!   The colors are so vibrant!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fall Afternoon

In October I played tourist with some friends of mine. We went to downtown and walked around the Battery (White Point Gardens) and the streets nearby. We actually spent the afternoon walking into people's yards to see the beautiful gardens. There were some lovely places downtown. Just a few pics of interesting things. The next day I was off to Charles Towne Landing since it had been remodeled. It is very ncie as well. You must go and see it.

Cooper River Bridge Run Design Contest

This is the winning design for 2007. It is pretty!

Bridge Snobbery

My coworker is a bridge snob. Not in a mean way and maybe I am a little inadequate? She is a real runner and runs marathons all the time. Tonight she got up from her desk at the end of the day and put on running clothes. It was dark so I asked if she was going running in the dark. Why yes.. there is a bridge run clinic that begins in January and lasts until the run. She is participating in that to get ready. Man I felt like I had better get myself in gear and begin to do something! She is already thinking of the run and has begun to train! You can sign up here! I do not think I will. I think I will begin training on my own. Time to get to stepping!

Cooper River Bridge Run Training Clinics

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bridgework Can Be Deadly

Some were crushed by equipment. One died trying to save a friend from being electrocuted. Most fell from lofty heights or were drowned.

For those who poured the concrete or set the rivets, building the three Cooper River bridges was a deadly job, claiming the lives of at least 19 workmen.

Falling may have been the biggest risk, but the single worst incident occurred deep below the surface on the river bottom.
"Caught like rats in a trap," declared a 1928 News and Courier article describing how seven black workmen were killed excavating one of the footings for the first span, the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge.

The men, known as "sandhogs," were in a supposedly water-tight caisson — a deeply sunk, cylindrical wooden box taller than three houses that dropped from the river's surface to its bottom. Once inside, the men could stay mostly dry as they undertook the well-paying but dirty job of removing tons of sand, mud and oyster shells.


Disaster struck when the caisson at Grace's No. 10 footing abruptly shifted, opening a 29-degree crack between the caisson wall and the river, allowing mud and water to flood in on the men, covering them in a few seconds.

"It was as though a glass, inverted in a tub of water, had suddenly been tipped to allow a cushion of air to escape, and the water to take its place, filling the glass," the newspaper reported.

The deaths punctuated the ever-present risk of building the Grace Bridge, by far the more dangerous of the three spans that crossed the Cooper River between Charleston and Mount Pleasant during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Fourteen of the 19 worker deaths associated with all three bridges occurred on the Grace, while four died on the Silas Pearman Bridge in the 1960s. One worker died on the new Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
Other Grace victims include a worker who drowned after he was knocked off the bridge by a scaffolding beam; another who tried to save a friend from electrocution and himself received a fatal shock; and a worker whose head was split open by a piece of falling steel.

One man died in a crash when the tram he was driving ran out of control because the brakes failed. Another sandhog died from the bends, also known as "caisson disease," associated with working in heavy pressure below sea level. The others died in unspecified accidents.

Authors Jason Annan and Pamela Gabriel addressed the labor concerns of building the bridge in their 2002 book "The Great Cooper River Bridge."

"The project did employ basic safety procedures, though they pale in comparison to what is required today," the authors wrote.

"Photographs of the project indicate that bridge workers did not always wear hard hats and were not always using safety harnesses when working up on the 18-inch-wide steel beams of the trusses."

Safety regulations improved greatly by the time the Pearman Bridge was constructed in the 1960s, but reports indicate at least four workers died in falls.

The first victim was William Thompson, 34, of Shreveport, La. He was working 60 feet in the air when the pile-driving crane he was attached to by a safety belt toppled into the marsh, taking him down. The crane, weighing between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, landed on him.

The Pearman's second victim was steelworker Sidney Wilson, 56, of Camp Hill, Pa., a foreman who lost his footing while climbing a ladder. He struck a wooden construction walkway as he tumbled 130 feet.

Eleven days later, carpenter Henry Padgett, 35, of Colleton County, fell. He may have been electrocuted when his steel measuring tape hit a live wire. The tape was found burned in two with about 23 feet of it extended from its reel. Strong winds may have blown the tape into a 46,000 volt power line that fed much of Mount Pleasant and the Charleston waterfront.

Pearman's last fatality was A.J. Hall, 27, of Cross, who plunged 150 feet when the three-wheeled power buggy he was driving went over the side. The vehicle was used to move lumber.

Hall's life vest ripped from his body when he hit the river.

The final construction death associated with spanning the Cooper River came in May 2004 on the Ravenel Bridge. Miguel Angel Rojas Lucas, 19, fell 75 feet into Town Creek. Investigators said Lucas was provided proper safety equipment at the time of his death but that he had unclipped his safety harness in preparation for his lunch break. His body was recovered three days later.

Miguel Angel Rojas Lucas

Arthur Ravenel Bridge Lit at Night!

A friend of mine who works a shift job was able to get these pictures at about 3:30am or 4am. The bridge workers were testing the lights in the weeks and days before the bridge opening. So she was lucky enought to get these photos as they tested the lights. Just beautiful!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Fireworks on the Arthur Ravenel Bridge

Unfortunately I had to work so I could not get downtown in time to get a good spot to see the fireworks in person last night. I watched the entire celebration on television, but at the end when the bridge was lit I hopped in the car and drove about 3 minutes away to the north ashley river bridge. I pulled over where there about 500 other cars parked and ran down to the water's edge to see it in person lit up. It was beautiful. Before the traffic got too bad with people leaving I hopped in my car again and drover over the north bridge where from the center, you have a clear view of the new Arthur Ravenel Bridge. It was stunning. To get back hom, becasue the traffic was rerouted, I could not turn around and go back over the north bride. I went to azalea drive, hit leeds and got on 526 . Again to my left I had the perfect view of the diamond towers lit up again! Pictures of fireworks included.

Diamond Gordon might have had the best seat in the house on top of her uncle's shoulders at the Maritime Center for the long-anticipated fireworks show that lit Thursday's night sky over the new Cooper River bridge.

"It's so pretty," said 6-year-old Diamond.

The $250,000 fireworks show opened with simultaneous displays being shot into the sky on each side of the massive cable-stayed bridge's towers. A matching third display was set off from between the towers.

Tens of thousands of people watched as the fireworks were launched after 9:30 p.m. from four barges in the Charleston Harbor and at points along the Arthur Ravenel Jr.Bridge that spans Charleston to Mount Pleasant.

"It's the most amazing show I have ever seen," said Heyward Adams III of Charleston. "It makes me proud to live here. It's a big step for Charleston."

The crowd that extended across the waterfront broke out in cheers before the show started. A local radio station led a 10-second countdown to the first big bangs.

The reaction continued at Waterfront Park, where people packed in along the pier and spilled onto the grass. When the fireworks began to explode, many cried, "That's so cool!"

"It's a fitting ending and a very good beginning," said Cathe Hansen of Folly Beach. She arrived before 9 p.m. and found a parking spot behind Millennium Music and walked to the Maritime Center.

The fireworks were part of a weeklong celebration leading up to Saturday's grand opening of the new $632 million bridge. Zambelli Fireworks Internationale filled 20,000 pounds of explosives with 60,000 fireworks.

"It's the perfect venue," George Zambelli Jr. said. "The backdrop is amazing." Charleston's fireworks display rivaled the Kentucky Derby's and was larger in some ways than the Millennium Celebration at the Eiffel Tower, Zambelli said. The display at the Eiffel Tower shot up 750 feet in the air versus the more than 3,000-foot vertical display here.

The display's effects included geometric sequences, with lights streaming from the bridge and rising from the water. Concussions from the blasts thundered across the peninsula.

Tim Strickland of Charleston won The Post and Courier contest to ignite the fireworks.

"When I pressed the button, all of the public was with me, and it made it electrifying," he said. "It was one of the most memorable things I've ever done in my life. It touches deep down in your heart to have been a part of this."

Ruby Williams of West Ashley lit the bridge's 37,000 watts by cell phone at 10:05 p.m. "It went wonderfully," said Williams, who had her nails manicured for the memorable occasion.

Charleston Harbor was packed with assorted watercraft for the event.

Bill Millner and Chuck Carder and their wives enjoyed sandwiches, shrimp and guacamole on Millner's Boston Whaler, anchored just off Castle Pinckney, with a cool breeze blowing off the water.

"My God, look behind us" Millner said, surveying all the boats docked nearby. "I think this is the prettiest night I've ever seen in Charleston Harbor."

Said Carder, as he looked toward the towers: "The new bridge marks the rebirth of a great harbor. It puts us up there with San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sidney, the most beautiful harbor cities. From a global perspective, this will really put Charleston on the map."

Margaret Bott of Salt Lake City watched the fireworks, but she hadn't planned to. She came to Charleston because her daughter, Natalie Brackens of Charleston, went into labor.

Brackens' daughter, Madalynn, was born at Medical University Hospital on July 5. Bott and Brackens watched with about 250 people from atop the parking garage adjacent to the hospital. "I didn't know anything about the bridge when I came here," Bott said. "This is a big surprise to me."

There was a party for the nearly 50 sponsors of the celebration at the S.C. Aquarium. About 500 guests socialized there in the hours before the show and enjoyed one of the best views of the fireworks display from the dock.

Shaun Flynn, vice president of operations with Metal Trades Inc., and his wife Linda attended the event. "It's amazing," he said. "The bridge is a tribute to the workers who built it. This evening has been remarkable."

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley greeted people at Liberty Square.

"This is a wonderful moment in the community's history," he said. "This is a free opportunity for people to get together. They can pass down their stories as family lore."

At the Maritime Center, people snapped photos of the fireworks, especially with the ubiquitous cell phones.

At the beach adjacent to Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, thousands of residents had a clear view of the bridge and fireworks. There appeared to be at least as many people present as when the Hunley was raised and pulled alongside the island.

At a yard party on Alexandra Drive in Mount Pleasant, everyone quieted down for the fireworks. Down the street, at another party when the fireworks began, a group of children began singing the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Five-year-old Alex Sanderson of James Island was excited for two reasons. Not only did he get to see fireworks, but he got to go home and play with family from North Carolina when the celebration was over. "We get to see fireworks and play with our cousins," he said.

Dozens of people lined the marsh and boat landing behind the Hobcaw Yacht Club in Mount Pleasant to watch.

"We're part of history" said Laura Hardy, a Charleston area native who now lives in Columbia. "We wouldn't have missed it." One of her sons, 6-year-old Caleb, had fun watching the display. One of the fireworks "looked just like a little cricket," he said.

Rick Stein of Mount Pleasant was quite impressed: "This is really something, isn't it?"

Thursday, April 28, 2005

238 and Counting Down!

I found this great counter to use. Now that the bridge walk is over, I must press on to loose weight. By the time summer is here I want to have made some significant gains.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pictures from the 2005 Run

As I stated earlier it was a rainy day to begin but it did clear up. Here are a few of the photos I took. These I took at the very start as the runners were beginning and the walkers (me) were waiting to begin the walk. The last shots are of the new bridge in the background.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I got over it for the last time!

What can I say...victory is mine! The morning of the race..yesterday I call my mother around 4:15 am and she tells me again that she has 2nd thoughts. I too am worried that she will not be able to make it. Plus it is pouring down rain. I tell her that we will discuss it when I get there. Iget to her house around 4:45 am. Our timeline is to be on the road by 5am. Buses are already transporting people at 5am. to make a long story short, we both decide it would be better if she passes. I am sad in a way because I will have to go it alone. I am glad because if mom could not have made it over, the race would be over for me too. I may not finish if if we have to leave and get her home. So I go it alone.

I leave her house for the 10 minute drive to downtown Charleston. All the shuttles leave from the visitor center. I turn left at the corner of king and calhoun. There are a stream of cars all heading the same way. A good many of them turn into the parking garage to the left. I thought it was a public garage. As it turned out , it was the parking garage for the Francis Marion Hotel.

I park and get out. I thought the Visitor Center was about 3 blocks away so I did not pull out my rain poncho. It was sprinkling. As it turned out, it was about 8 blocks away. So, that sprinkle turned out to be a lot of water all told. I got on a shuttle at 5:30 and was in Mt. Pleasant by 5:45. The walkers were dropped about a mile from our start line. We had a long way to go. The walk did not start until 8:30am and it was no just 5:45am.

The rain had begun to pour. There is a Hess station right were the shuttle stopped for walkers and when I crossed the street, I entered the mass of walkers there seeking shelter from the rain. There must have been 500 people there already. Around 6:15am I went inside and got coffee and a slice of lemon cake. It would be a long wait. I went back out side. More and more people came. Soon the entire gas station was filled up with walkers. There was no way a car could get in their for gas. I pulled out my poncho and put it on for warmth. The wind began to blow and I could tell the temp beganto drop and still it rained. Hard.

After a while I joined the long line of women waiting to use the one stall in the Hess Station. The owner was there making a killing that morning. He could have really made a killing if he had poncho's to sell. He did make a small killing on baseball hats and visors. I had to buy a visor as I needed a bill to keep the rain out of my face. I went back outside to wait.

Finally around 7am, walkers began to migrate to the start for walkers. I decide to go to. It was still pouring rain. We all waited in the cold pouring tain until 8:30 am for the walk to begin.

The run began at 8am. They started 2 miles back from the walk start. It was exciting to see them run past us. The Kenyans were in the lead and won. This year the Keyan women were beat by the women from Russia. It was a first. The runners ran and there were all sorts of people in halloween costumes. I guess they wanted to do anything to stand out in the crowd. funny hats to full costumes. There must have been 20k runners alone. At 8:30 the runners were still coming like a sea of fish. It became a little chaotic then because the walkers began to walk. So the runners who were not in the front of the pack had to wade thru all the walkers to find a way to get through.

I was in the front of the pack of walkers. I made good time. I finished the race in 2 hours 1 minutes and 3 seconds. The first span was the steepest and the hardest to get over. My shins were really feeling it about 1/2 way up. That bride was also swaying in the wind. People were literally reeling from side to side as the bridge swayed. That was amazing. I did manage to take a few pictures which I will post as soon as I can get them downloaded from my camera.

All in all it was a great experience. When it was time to go home I had a dilema. I had packed lightly just wearing a fanny pack. Camera, keys, drivers liscense and nothing else. I had pulled into a pay lot with no money to get out. I called my father and had him bring me some money to get out of the lot.

By the time I got home, I was crippled. My shins were aching , I was limping and my toes were hurting. Next time, I will have to train better than I did. All yesterday, my shins were very sore. They are better today, but still sore. At least I did it! I walked the Silas Pearman bridge for the first and last time!